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Stuart Public School Planning Renovations

Mar 23, 2022 Updated Apr 5, 2022 (0)

Stuart superintendent Robert Hanzlik with the plans for the renovations to be done at Stuart Public Schools. Photo by Lorraine Lieswald

By Lorraine Lieswald,

Atkinson Graphic reporter

Students at Stuart Public Schools will attend classes in a newly renovated school building when they return to classes in the fall of 2023. 

According to the school's superintendent, Robert Hanzlik, plans are to have the renovation of parts of the existing school building and the 17,675 square foot addition to the north end of the school completed by the beginning of the 2023 fall school term. 

“Right now, we are on track for this to happen,” Hanzlik said.

Presently, the superintendent and school board are finalizing details for securing the lowest cost rates possible for the construction and working with architects to complete the final details of the renovation.

In January, the Stuart Public Schools' board of education called for a school bond election in an amount not to exceed $3.95 million to address urgent facility and program needs.

The write-in election passed 3/1 in what Hanzlik said was a more informed presentation to the voters to the immediate needs at the school. 

A prior bond election three years ago was voted down. 

“Part of the reason was the economy and the lack of information on our part,” Hanzlik noted.

Describing the school's expansions, Hanzlik said the tower section of the school is over 100 years old. The addition of new school rooms was added in 1954. 

“In 1995-96 additional school rooms were constructed around the tower section,” he said.

The need for renovating the present school would accommodate a growing enrollment, Hanzlik explained. (Presently the Stuart school has a 167 K-12 student enrollment.)

Hanzlik explained how other positives of the renovation would be:

1. The improvement of the facility would be a positive in attracting and retaining young families to the community;

2. Safety improvement for students and staff;

3. Dedicated Ag classroom and large shop would encourage participation in skill-based learning;

4. Updated library would encourage use and provide benefits to students in every grade level;

5. Relocated, larger music room would better serve students and eliminate distraction in other classrooms;

6. The classroom designed to be an art room would provide opportunities for art students in all grade levels.

In the information brochure available to the public prior to the write-in school bond election, the project description was for the north end addition to contain industrial arts/ag (shop), music, art, and other general education classrooms.

The existing industrial arts/ag area would be remodeled into two separate classrooms. 

All classrooms would be conveniently on ground level and would be handicap accessible. 

The south entrance would be remodeled to accommodate new administrative offices and to secure the main entrance of the building.

The current band room and library ceiling would be insulated and then remodeled into general education classrooms. 

The one-hundred-year-old tower section of the school will have limited use.

Managing the renovations will be Hausman Construction of Lincoln. (Hausman was also the manager of the O'Neill Public School renovation several years ago.) 

Hausman Construction estimates the project will begin around Sep. 1, 2022, sooner if all details are finalized, and will be completed by the beginning school term in 2023.

Hausman will send out bids to local contractors and then work with them in putting in the bids.

“When a small school like Stuart builds or renovates its school it's really an investment in our future. We not only keep educating our children in the community where they are growing up, but a modern school facility attracts young people to the community and hopefully, encourages them to build their future here,” Hanzlik said.

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